background preloader

Practical mapping

Facebook Twitter

Map Colours

Map Projections. Chloropleth Maps. Making Heat Maps. Greater Circle vs. OrigDest lines. JSON. Vis4.net. Map Tools for Devs. This is a great time to be a geodeveloper.

Map Tools for Devs

There’s more spatial data, geo-processing tools, geo enabled storage and mapping tools than ever. Let’s start with storage – not too long ago geo developers had two choices, file formats or proprietary object-relational databases. Today there are production ready open source object-relational databases such as PostgreSQL/PostGIS and MySQL; even mobile devices have lightweight databases with spatial capabilities such as SQLite. In addition to traditional object-relational databases, NoSQL databases such as Cassandra, CouchDB, and MongoDB have a spatial capabilities. Big Table clones such as Hbase can also store spatial data and there is ongoing work for developing a spatial index which facilitates spatial queries and operations. Manipulating spatial data and performing analysis used to be dominated by specialized proprietary Geographic Information Systems (GIS) desktop software.

Mapping Ecosystem. Web Mapping Illustrated. MapWith.Us. TileMill Revisited. As a diehard lover of old maps, I have been especially excited by Map Dorkia’s recent rediscovery of the charm of bygone cartography.

TileMill Revisited

I came to GIS via history and archaeology, so my generalized love of maps stems from an earlier, more specific love of old maps. I think this also accounts for the fact that while maps come in many shapes, I am most fond of the ones that depict an actual physical landscape. So I was thrilled a short while ago when Kartograph arrived on the scene (skillfully showcasing a stunning map of Italy), and I was equally happy when MapBox debuted AJ Ashton’s “Pirate Map”.

While both these maps are quite beautiful and therefore just plain nice to look at, they seem to be laboring under the misconception that beauty was the only strong point of old cartography. Because of this, they are missing an important point (in my opinion the most important point) of old maps. Scribble Maps Pro Review. The Fulcrum developer API. Smarter Than You Think: U.S. Highways, Mapped Like A Subway System. The graphic language of the London Underground map is so iconic that "[insert any network or process here] visualized as a London Underground map" has become a design cliché.

Smarter Than You Think: U.S. Highways, Mapped Like A Subway System

So why are we writing about the latest iteration, a Tube-style map of U.S. interstate highways, created by Cameron Booth? Because, clichéd or not, visualizing this particular system in this way is actually damned useful. The U.S. interstate system actually has a grid-like logic to it: Highways that go north/south are labeled with odd numbers, and highways that go east/west have even-numbered labels. Not that you’d be able to easily tell, though--much like the London Underground rail system, interstate highways look like an overturned plate of spaghetti when plotted on a geographically accurate map. I remember getting confused all the time when I was a kid living in northern Illinois: I-94 technically goes east/west, but between Chicago and Milwaukee, it actually goes north/south.

Click to zoom. Spatial methods and tools. When Maps Shouldn't Be Maps. Often, when you get data that is organized by geography — say, for example, food stamp rates in every county, high school graduation rates in every state, election results in every House district, racial and ethnic distributions in each census tract — the impulse is since the data CAN be mapped, the best way to present the data MUST be a map.

When Maps Shouldn't Be Maps

You plug the data into ArcView, join it up with a shapefile, export to Illustrator, clean up the styles and voilà! Instant graphic ready to be published. And in many cases, that’s the right call. For example, census maps of where whites, blacks, Hispanics and Asians live in New York City show clear geographic patterns, answering questions like “What areas of the city are more segregated?”

Or “Where is there more diversity?” Maps also a terrific way to let readers look up information about specific places. And obviously, when the story is completely based on the geography — “How far has the oil spill in the Gulf spread?” 1. 2. Avenza Systems Inc. Planito. Version: 1.20 || Release Date: 2012-01-28 || License: Commercial with demo ($4.99)

Planito

Map of Life and CartoDB « The Map of Life. It’s been an exciting month for Map of Life!

Map of Life and CartoDB « The Map of Life

We had a great time at TDWG 2011 in sunny New Orleans, where John Wieczorek and I presented Map of Life‘s big dream: to use existing maps to make better maps of where species actually are. John and Aaron Steele also presented some radical ideas about hooking CouchDB and CouchApp together to build simple, powerful applications. Their switch in strategy made us wonder if perhaps we could pull that off with Map of Life, too. It was in this frame of mind that we attended Javier de la Torre‘s demonstration of CartoDB, a Google Fusion Table-like application to store and render mapping data. The more we saw, the more we liked: open-source (and available on GitHub!) Over the last two months, we’ve been working on moving our map tiling infrastructure to leverage CartoDB while continuing to use Google App Engine for indexing and searching.

Mapping with Drupal. Design Transit Map-Style Graphics. Transit maps like the London Underground “Tube” diagram or the New York subway map are an integral part of life in cities with public transportation.

Design Transit Map-Style Graphics

Their bright colors, large type and simplified route lines allow complex travel information to be quickly and easily understood by commuters and tourists alike. Recently, the subway map has also become a popular metaphor for infographic design, especially for timelines or for depicting other complex networks. I’ve had two such diagrams featured on Visual.ly, both of which have been very well received: the Eisenhower Interstate Highway system (below) and the older U.S. Numbered Highway system. MapWinGIS ActiveX Map and GIS Component. R- geo examples.